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State Civil Rights Offices

Civil rights laws protect you from unequal treatment, including discrimination in various settings. Knowing what civil rights laws apply to your situation is an initial step in dealing with a civil rights violation.

Many laws at the federal level prohibit discrimination. These often start as federal legislation through acts of the federal government. Examples include the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (FHA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Federal civil rights protections also stem from federal court decisions. This includes U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

Besides federal laws, local and state laws prohibit discrimination. Many state laws mirror federal civil rights laws and offer the same protections. State laws may be more extensive. They may provide extra coverage not available at the federal level. For example, some state laws include protection for people identifying as LGBTQ+. If there is no federal recourse for a civil rights violation, you may be able to seek relief at the state level.

Each state has its own division charged with protecting residents' civil rights. These commissions work to end discrimination by enforcing the state's civil rights laws. There can be discrimination in many settings. These include:

  • Housing discrimination
  • Employment discrimination
  • Discrimination in places of public accommodation
  • Discrimination in other arenas

There are various bases for discrimination. These include:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex and sexual orientation
  • National origin
  • Disability
  • Genetic information
  • Receipt of income from public assistance programs

Find the link to your state below to learn more about your division's civil rights enforcement and outreach efforts.

Alabama United States Attorneys Office (Southern District)
Alaska Commission for Human Rights
Arizona Attorney General's Office — Civil Rights Division
Arkansas Fair Housing Commission
California Attorney General's Office — Civil Rights Division
Colorado Civil Rights Division
Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities
Delaware Secretary of State's Division of Human and Civil Rights
District of Columbia Office of Human Rights
Florida Commission on Human Relations
Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity
Hawaii Civil Rights Commission
Idaho Human Rights Commission
Illinois Department of Human Rights
Indiana Civil Rights Commission
Iowa Civil Rights Commission
Kansas Human Rights Commission
Kentucky Commission on Human Rights
Louisiana Commission on Human Rights
Maine Human Rights Commission
Maryland Commission on Human Relations
Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
Michigan Department of Civil Rights
Minnesota Department of Human Rights
Mississippi Department of Employment Security
Missouri Commission on Human Rights
Montana Human Rights Bureau
Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission
Nevada Equal Rights Commission
New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights
New Jersey Division on Civil Rights
New Mexico Human Rights Bureau
New York State Division of Human Rights
North Carolina Human Relations Commission
North Dakota Human Rights Division
Ohio Civil Rights Commission
Oklahoma Human Rights Commission
Oregon Civil Rights Division
Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission
Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights
South Carolina Human Affairs Commission
South Dakota Division of Human Rights
Tennessee Human Rights Commission
Texas Civil Rights Division
Utah Antidiscrimination and Labor Division
Vermont Human Rights Commission
Virginia Office of Civil Rights
Washington State Human Rights Commission
West Virginia Human Rights Commission
Wisconsin Equal Rights Division
Wyoming Department of Workforce Services: Your Labor Rights

Protect Your Civil Rights

Know the civil rights protections available to you. Understand how to address your specific issue by accessing state civil rights offices. Has someone discriminated against you or denied you equal access to services? You can also contact your state's office of the attorney general. Or try the U.S. Department of Justice or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Don't put up with wrongdoing by law enforcement, sexual harassment, or hate crimes.

Want to learn more about your possible claim? Talk to a civil rights attorney who can help you protect your rights.

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Next Steps

Contact a qualified civil rights attorney to help you protect your rights.

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